It’s official: 2020 NBA All-Star Game coming to Chicago

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We knew about it yesterday, but now it is official:

The 2020 NBA All-Star Game will take place in Chicago.

“Chicago is an iconic city with a storied basketball history.  We are thrilled to bring the NBA All-Star Game back,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.  “We thank Mayor Emanuel, Jerry and Michael Reinsdorf and the entire Bulls organization and look forward to an exciting week of activities celebrating the game of basketball.”

“Chicago is looking forward to hosting NBA All-Star 2020 and welcoming players and fans from across the country and around the world to our great city,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.  “Chicago is a global hub for sports, entertainment, and culture.  Bringing the NBA All-Star Game back to the city for the first time in over three decades is a win for our city, our businesses, and fans of all ages who will have the chance to be part of one of basketball’s biggest events.”

We’ll see if the 2020 All-Star weekend can live up to the last time the game was in Chicago, back in 1988. That was the year Michael Jordan and Dominique Wilkins had one of the (if not THE) greatest All-Star Dunk contest ever.

Then in Sunday’s showcase game, Jordan dropped 40 points, led the East to the win, and was named MVP.

The Bulls’ home, the United Center, will host the All-Star Game, the Rising Stars Challenge, and the All-Star Saturday Night events (which includes the dunk contest).  The new Wintrust Arena, home of the WNBA’s Chicago Sky starting next season, will host the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game and Rising Stars and All-Star Game practices.  There also will be events throughout the city, including Navy Pier.

The NBA received applications from a number of cities wanting to host either the 2020 and 2021 All-Star Games, ranging Indiana through the Golden State  (who will be in a new building by then). The 2021 location has yet to be decided.

The 2018 All-Star Game will be in Los Angeles, then in 2019 the game heads to Charlotte.